Elections in Cuba: the vote for unity

Elections in Cuba: the vote for unity
Fecha de publicación: 
8 March 2023
Imagen principal: 

Havana, Mar 8 (RHC) Cubans have been summoned to elect all 470 lawmakers to the National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament) on March 26 in a democratic exercise that proposes citizens vote for all.

The united vote is not a yoke for those who go to the polls, but one of the options, since by law, voters can choose one, two, or all candidates from their constituency (the basic level of Cuba’s government system). But it is considered a demonstration of citizens’ unity in support of the social and political model.

Although this may seem rhetorical to some, in reality since January 1, 1959, Cuba has struggled almost permanently against all odds to get ahead under pressure from all kinds of successive United States administrations.

The maximum expression of this hostility is the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States and reinforced over the years to try to overthrow the Cuban Government.

Thus, since the first elections for People’s Power in October 1976, the united vote has been considered a response to all external pressures, and when explaining this motivation, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, made it clear in February 1993 that “it is a political question: it is the strategy of the patriots, it is the strategy of the revolutionaries.”

In so many years, the harassment against Cuba has not changed, rather it has intensified, and at this time, when the economic situation is extremely difficult, that strategy is still in force.

Add to this that although the campaigns insist endlessly on the alleged absence of democracy, in contrast, the elections in Cuba are characterized by broad popular participation that goes beyond the possibility of voters directly nominate and electing their representatives.

Every time, they also become a truly popular movement at all levels, since less than one percent of around 200,000 people involved in the electoral work are professionals.

The rest are workers, students, pensioners, and housewives who voluntarily integrate the different bodies, make up the polling stations and act as collaborators and supervisors.

Even children are active participants, as members of the pioneers’ organization guard the ballot boxes during voting, something that does not exist in the rest of the world.

The same happens with the work of the candidacy commissions, which are in charge of preparing and presenting the parliamentary candidates, as well as the presidents and vice presidents of the municipal People’s Power assemblies.

In a country with a single-party system, the Communist Party (PCC) neither nominates nor elects and this process takes place with citizens’ participation since the candidacy commissions are headed by the Confederation of Workers of Cuba (CTC).

They are also made up of representatives of the main civil society organizations such as the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), students’ organizations (FEEM and FEU), and the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), to which 90 percent of the population belongs.

In addition, the commissions have functional independence and the power to consult as many institutions and entities as they deem appropriate, which is a guarantee to select those who deserve to hold that responsibility.

The nominees range from world-renowned personalities in their respective fields of action to ordinary people, including religious, private business people, and representatives of sexual diversity, who together form the closest thing to today’s Cuban society.

That is another important element, the supporters of the united vote state so that when voters are alone with their ballots, they can freely and safely exercise their choice for all. (Source: PL)

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